Grateful Dead Live at Civic Auditorium on 1970-03-07
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- Live concert
- Grateful Dead
- DeadLists Project
low-gen AUD; shn'ed by Hanno Bunjes, with thanks to Uli Teute for the AUD source; Hanno's notes
- 2004-05-30 19:59:25
- Santa Monica, CA
- Transferred by
- Hanno Bunjes and Uli Teute
- Civic Auditorium
Subject: bread crumb
Subject: Say the weather down here so fine…
There are different schools of thought when it comes to audience tapes, and when it comes to ones like this, there are as many opinions as there are deadheads who’ve listened to the show. From a general standpoint, you’ll find old school cats who love, and sometimes even prefer AUDs, whether because of a lack of SBD alternatives for a specific performance/era (especially ‘67-’70 and ‘80-’83) or a soft spot for the tapers and their signature put-you-right-in-the-room effect. These folks swear by Jim Wise and the Oade brothers of early 80’s fame, as well as Keith Litzenberger’s admirable work from the 90’s. You’ve also got soundboard snobs who seldom stray from the incredible purity of what Bear, Bob Matthews, and Betty Cantor-Jackson captured in the 60’s and 70’s, preferring the professional touch of official releases over anything snagged from the taper’s section.
Personally, I’m a little snobby in that if one is available, I usually go with soundboards for anything from ‘65-’95. Still, with AUDs, there’s a clear correlation between my willingness to listen and how early in the band’s career the show in question occurred. 9/15/67, 5/18/68, and 10/24/69 are damn well in my collection. Going in the forward-facing chronological direction from ‘95, with the right sound and lineup I also greatly enjoy AUDs from the post-Garcia projects as well. Modernized equipment and more experience under the tapers’ belts have made for some excellent captures. I’ll probably pass on a tinny ‘97 RatDog tape, but a rich, fat AUD of Derek Trucks sitting in with the Phil Lesh Quintet at Virginia Beach in August 2001? Sign me the fuck up.
Audience tapes from 1970 are nothing short of an absolute blessing.
Bear’s arrest and brief absence from the scene in 1970 meant that we don’t have SBD recordings of a lot of the shows from that year, and in some cases, no recordings at all. To that end, in my book the fact that this is the only recording of 3/7/70 (or is it 3/9/70, as one attendee insists on dead.net?) means that it shouldn’t automatically lose a star just for being an AUD, especially considering that it’s a very serviceable one. Sure, there’s some hiss, intermittent crowd chatter, splicing, a couple pops, and a cut or two, but each of the instrumentalists stand out, and although muddy, it’s very enjoyable. 11/22/68 is a challenge, but this one is more like 4/24/70 or 8/18/70.
Performance-wise, it’s cracking.
An attendee has mentioned that they opened with Hard to Handle, which is apparently missing. Multiple accounts suggest that there was a decent amount of LSD at play in the audience. I like what a previous reviewer pointed out about the Workingman’s Dead songs - these numbers were still brand new at the time, and the crowd is dead silent during that howling Black Peter guitar solo. Any SoCal tripsters who couldn’t make the Thelma Theater run a few months prior had probably never heard anything like this before. The China > Rider > High Time is equally impressive, with some burning guitar work from Bob Weir lighting up the road to Rider. High Time is one of those Garcia songs that’s difficult to pull off, but beautiful when properly performed. Tunes like Bertha, Friend of the Devil, or Eyes of the World are tough to find a bad version of, just because of their fairly simple and straightforward pace, melodies, and improv-friendly chords. But slow ballads with a lot of vocal range like China Doll, and especially High Time, can be hit or miss, because Jerry and everyone else on stage would have to be locked in, in tune, and committed to the delicacy of the music, intricate crescendos and decrescendos, and poignant lyrics. As with many of the early versions, this High Time is perfectly captivating. The late ‘69/early ‘70 takes on backwoodsy Workingman’s Dead material and twangy covers always seem to hit the mark, which is why it’s such a shame we have just a brief snippet of what must’ve been a great Dire Wolf.
Black Peter, China > Rider > High Time, and Dire Wolf // make up one distinct section of the show, and the // NFA > Drums > Good Lovin’ > The Other One > NFA > Lovelight // sequence makes up the other. That first NFA jam really zips along and definitely hints at something like The Other One, Caution, or a similar vehicle. The way they step into each song of the sequence is incredibly natural and seamless. In every case, the next song’s notes are plucked out of thin air; it’s Phil who punches right through the wall between a rattling Drums and a booming Good Lovin’, and Jerry who rolls Good Lovin’ into a combustible The Other One, without any hesitation (or Cryptical Envelopment). Then it’s back into NFA, and from that into Lovelight. You might not get any organ solos out of Pig in this show, but his vocal showmanship is as apparent as ever. The Lovelight is strong, with plenty of stops, starts, and showboating from McKernan. The tape cuts out at 24+ minutes in - they were still going!
Taped by deadheads for deadheads. Fans of this era who don’t mind cuts and claps will find this blue-collar recording very enjoyable. It’s not a crystal clear Betty Board, but perhaps that’s what makes it special. Very much worth at least a listen, and maybe even its own spot in the stash for when you need a brief 1970 recording that has some real attitude.
Subject: Les Dudek, Lydia Pense, and Stratocasters
Subject: the pure uncut thing
yes, you have to deal with a little bit of aud noise, but contrariwise, it's fascinating to hear how both Peter and High Time cause the chatter to end as these people become aware of what they're hearing.
and i can just see their faces at the end of the raging China Rider; pure ecstasy.
Subject: Charlie works for me
Subject: Great show
Also- to the 5/31/09 poster - check out Tristudios. It's Bobby's project and it is free. He is not a money monger. While it is a bit annoying that every good '69-'72 show gets commercially released, there is SO much free content out there to enjoy as well. Im gonna give this show a solid 4 star rating.
~ Let the good times roll
Subject: Not Too Bad
I understand that, compared to other recordings, this tape is pretty weak, but let's keep things in perspective. It's a miracle we ever heard the Dead, and an even greater miracle we can still hear them.
Thank G-d for the Dead every day!
Subject: My first concert
Subject: The Other Other One
Deadheads were and always will be freaks of the highest order.
Subject: gotta listen/download
Subject: great jams
Subject: prime & primal
oh, the show?... a very nice "black peter" eases you into the action nice and slow, but they kick up the pace big-time by "china > rider"... it's now one of my favorite versions from this year, with an exceptionally hot transition jam... the "high time" is certainly "epic", as an earlier reviewer stated, but it seems like such a tease now that i've listened to this show a bunch of times, because the jams that follow (i'm excluding the virtually non-existant snippet of "dire"...) are definitely the meat of the show. and on this night, the dead came out swingin' some BIG fuckin' meat, if you dig... I really can't say enough about how heavy this all gets... you get dropped right in the middle of an absolutely BLISTERING "not fade away", jerry and phil combining into one vicious, jamming, freaked-out freakatoid. mickey and billy stomp into "drums" like a zulu tribe drunk on wild boar's blood... mr. lesh machine-guns' the intro into "good lovin'", and you can tell the crowd is fucking ELECTRIC... this is real shit. well, our favorite band is time-travelling by this point & they slam warp-speed into "the other one"... garcia's lines are mind-numbingly fast and pissed off sounding... just fucking crazy!... back into "not fade away" once more just because it HAS to happen this way (pre-ordained or something...), galloping like the 5 ton wild horse that they are, and then.... one of theee most ball-shredding "lovelight"'s that these ears have ever had the pleasure of hearing (keep in mind folks, i'm still listening to an AUD!!!(shocking but true...)... pigpen delivers like a MAN on this night, and the rest of the guys are playing like f'in studs.... a classic ending to what should be a classic show... take some time and enjoy this one. you deserve it.
show - five stars (easily...)
sound - 3.5 stars (not the best, but not even close to "unbearable" or "unlistenable")
Subject: Don't pay attention to below reviews
Sound - 5.75/10
Playing - 9/10
Show - 7.5/10
Subject: I dont know
Subject: what happened
Subject: China > Rider > High Time
Subject: Annoying audience tape
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